Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

PAULIE HASN’T GOT A PRAYER

What up Dougie?!
Gonna make this short and sweet. I’ve been watching some of Paulie Malignaggi’s older fights lately and I thoroughly believe he will get KO’d by the eighth round. I don’t think he has a prayer. Unless he runs the whole fight, it will be over early.

Your thoughts?

And by the way, next week Gennady Golovkin should win easy, even with a good showing from Matthew Macklin. Gennady by KO by the 9th round.  – Andy, Va. Beach

I can see Malignaggi being stopped by the eighth, and I can see Macklin being stopped by the ninth, but you are underestimating both veterans. I don’t think Broner or Golovkin will have an “easy” time in their next fights – even if they win every round before scoring their knockouts.

Broner should win tomorrow night, he’s got youth, talent, power and speed on his side. It’s not every day that Malignaggi is the slower boxer in a fight, but the lightweight quickness and explosive reflexes that Broner possesses might make him look a lot older than 32.

However, Malignaggi has some moves – if he elects to use them – that will challenge Broner’s vaunted ability. His jab, upper-body movement and footwork will give Broner some things to deal with and think about that none of his previous opponents could offer.

Broner’s previous opponents were not known for their footwork, lateral movement or defense. I’m not saying Malignaggi is Pernell Whitaker. He’s not. But I think just by getting under Broner’s punches and jabbing while he moves to either side will earn Malignaggi respect that aggressive little guys like Gavin Rees and Eloy Perez and forward stalking stiff upper-body types like Vicente Escobedo and Antonio DeMarco were unable to.

Malignaggi’s key to competing with Broner starts with forcing the 23-year-old boxing prodigy to think. His ticket to pulling off a monumental upset is to make Broner doubt himself.

I’ll talk more about Golovkin-Macklin next week, but I think the Irish-Englishman’s underrated boxing ability and noted toughness will enable him to compete with arguably the best puncher in the sport, at least for the first half of what I expect to be a quality middleweight title fight.

ONLY BRONER WILL BEAT BRONER

Doug,

I’m a Broner fan. Not a big one, but I am a fan. His offensive boxing skills for this stage of his career is extraordinary and the defensive style he employs is a work in progress (the shoulder role is an evolving defense throughout one career). Because he doesn’t work in any real lateral movement, and since he likes to walk cats down staying in front of them, he is really going to have to work on the finer points of that defense as he moves up in weight.

140-147 is a big jump in weight and power. I’m sure he can handle it, but I’m not really sold on his potential “greatness” yet. As evidenced by this video http://www.balleralert.com/profiles/blogs/boxer-adrien-broner-gives-a-stripper-head-on-stage-video?id=2015113%3ABlogPost%3A1560364&page=2 I think that he is getting out of control. That is not how you “taste” success. I know that his idol Money Mayweather did and still does pay hoes’ bills, whether at the club or otherwise, but he doesn’t get his “knees dirty” in public. I know from experience cats that get a BUNCH of bread and get turned out. This dude has turned himself out once now that he has SOME bread (SOME is relative considering his classification as a beginning bankable star at this point in his career). I’m not sure that he has the mental make up to be great, because personal decisions can affect performance inside the ring.

That said, he won’t have too much trouble with Pauletta. I love his commentary work and enjoy his bravado, but his severe lack of power will be his down fall. I don’t care how much he jabs and moves, he will not be able to keep Broner off of him. AB is a stalker. He has a varied attack to the head and body. Those body shots will slow PM down enough for AB to make a run at a 7-8 round KO. PM’s only chance is if the extra weight that he has allows him to absorb those fierce body shots from AB and he stays on the move peppering him with that good jab he has. Maybe the AB hype comes crashing down Saturday night. Not likely. Broner KO in 8. – Wiley H.

That seems to be the prevailing prediction for this fight. I like Broner by decision. Malignaggi might get dropped and busted up but I think he’s tough and savvy enough to last the distance. I also think he’ll have his moments in the fight – provided he doesn’t get greedy or try to take the kid’s heart right away.

Like you said “AB is a stalker.” He’s not a pressure fighter. He’s not going to be cutting the ring off on Malignaggi if the veteran elects to stick and move. Still, the kid’s gonna be quicker on the draw than Malignaggi and he’s a pretty good counter puncher. At some point during the fight he’s going to time Malignaggi’s shots and clock him with his hook or a right-hand bomb.

I agree with you that Broner might be his own worst enemy – especially since he’ll likely stay at welterweight if he wins tomorrow and ignore the best of the 140-pound division.

Will his lifestyle get the better of him? Of course it will if he doesn’t change. But with his talent and drive he can still be a star and accomplish a lot, just like Mike Tyson, James Toney, Fernando Vargas and so many other wild boxers were. Hell, Manny Pacquiao partied his ass off for years.

BRONER = JUANMA

Hey Dougie,
I don’t know that this will be the fight it happens, because Paulie’s smallish and not a puncher, but I think Broner’s got a lot to learn from what happened to Juan Manuel Lopez last weekend. Lopez looked like a future superstar against undersized, non-elite, and has-been opposition on his way up. I don’t think he’s “shot,” I just think he never had what it takes to beat elite fighters his size or bigger. 

I see a lot of the same thing in Broner. I don’t think his fight with De Leon was some anomaly. I think it was a harbinger. De Leon was never more than a gate keeper, and he gave it to Broner. Small ham-and-egg types have had no problem putting hands on Broner. His size has helped him cover overdrafts so far, but full sized welters and junior welters shouldn’t have any trouble putting it on him. I honestly don’t think he has any more than Anthony Peterson did. I think Paulie’s got a great chance of working him over, and don’t expect Broner’s undefeated record to last very long at the higher weights. – Todd

I think Broner’s got more than Anthony Peterson, but I agree that somebody like Anthony’s brother, Lamont, would give The Problem all he can handle. And I think someone like Lucas Matthysse can not only walk Broner down as Ponce de Leon did, but beat him, maybe knock him out.

But I don’t want to count Malignaggi out as so many have. Malignaggi upset the odds when he beat Vyacheslav Senchenko and I expect that motivated version of the Magic Man to show up tomorrow night. I don’t think he was motivated to fight Pablo Cesar Cano, who is a better fighter than Twitter Nation gives him credit for and who came in heavy for that fight last October. He is motivated for Broner and he has something to prove, so I expect him to be at his best. Malignaggi’s lack of power will ultimately cost him but he still might give Broner hell.

THE GUYS FLOYD AVOIDED

Hey Dougie,
I was just thinking about this – the list is LOOONG and I think Floyd would
undoubtedtly have lost his cherry somewhere along the line, my take:

Freitas – Mayweather has trouble early but figures him out midway and wins clearly on points.

Casamayor – A toss up… back in the day Floyd had more problems against southpaws and Casamayor was the ultimate difficult Southpaw back when they could have fought.

Stevie Johnston – As above but in a better fight, I’ll take Mayweather close but clear on points

Kostya Tszyu – It may be bold but I would confidently pick the Russian by a knockout – he was just too good at hunting down boxers and had more power than the guys that have rocked Mayweather combined!

Hatton (at 140) – In a rough, much more competitive fight than at Welter, Floyd 8-to-4 on points.

Margarito – In 2007, I think Margz runs him outta the Ring – points or late KO

Pacquiao – In 2009/10, I always thought that Pacquiao would have been the first truly legit, all around talent, who still had it that Floyd would have faced (had he done so) and that the difference in the level of competition the two had faced would have showed for the first time – Manny by late KO

This list of course does not include Mosley or Cotto who Floyd could and should have faced MUCH earlier at ’47.

Question Dougie – is there any fighter in the history of the sport who was as revered (by some) as Mayweather is who had such a long list of fighters that he could and should have faced along the line but didn’t??? I think it’s absolutely unreal the kind of pass he gets despite this! (Even RJ’s list wasn’t this long!) – Ed from UK

No, Roy Jones’ list isn’t as long as this one, but he was very much revered – and not by some, by a lot of folks, and more than a few claimed he was the G.O.A.T.

Mike Tyson didn’t avoid the heavyweight contenders during his prime but he wasn’t fighting in the deepest era of the division and he was freakin’ revered like you wouldn’t believe, not just by fans but by the sports and boxing media, too. It wasn’t enough for him to be the pound-for-pound king at the time, folks had to prop him up with Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali as one of the “greatest” heavyweight champs in history.  

Many considered Oscar De La Hoya to be “great” when he was undefeated. And it wasn’t long before Shane Mosley was being compared to Sugar Ray Robinson after he beat De La Hoya. Oscar and Shane weren’t avoiding all of the best, but theyalso picked their spots when it came to taking risks (more about that as it relates to Mayweather, later).   

My point is that it’s nothing new for a talented and accomplished American boxer to be revered by fans and the media (especially if he’s undefeated, popular and/or he generates lots of money).

If Broner beats Malignaggi in impressive fashion and then scores a few more high-profile wins at 147, you better believe that fans and even some members of the media will begin to “revere” him. They won’t care that he didn’t fight Ricky Burns and Miguel Vazquez at 135 pounds or Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia at 140. They’ll say he would have beat them anyway.

And maybe he would have, but I don’t believe in giving a fighter credit for bouts that never happened. If I did, I’d probably revere Mr. Mayweather.

By the way, I agree, for the most part, with your mythical Mayweather matchups. I think he would have been too mentally strong for Freitas at 130 and 135 (although the Brazilian would have been dangerous at junior lightweight), he would have edged Casamayor (in an ugly distance fight) at 130 or 135, done the same with Johnston and Hatton in competitive bouts at 135 and 140, but Tszyu would have zapped him inside the distance, in my opinion, and the 2006-07 version of Margz would have walked him down and outworked him over 12.

In Mayweather’s defense, he wanted to fight Mosley in 1999 when he was a 130-pound beltholder and Sugar Shane was a 135-pound titleholder. I witnessed Floyd call Shane out face-to-face immediately after Mosley beat Willy Wise at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas. However, Mosley had moved to 147 pounds at this point and was aiming for De La Hoya. Mayweather also openly talked of moving up to welterweight and challenging the Golden Boy around this time. Few took him seriously, and I doubt De La Hoya was even aware of Mayweather’s intentions. He had worthy welterweight competitors, such as Ike Quartey and Felix Trinidad, to focus on.

At the same time, Mayweather would talk about being the longest-reigning 130-pound champ in history, breaking the division title defense record and facing the other two unbeaten beltholders (Freitas and Casamayor). I didn’t expect him to stay at junior lightweight for long, but I had hoped that he would have at leastfought the winner of the Freitas-Casamayor fight (which was Popo). (Mayweather crashed the post-fight presser for that fight and claimed he would do just that.)

Floyd also expressed interest in fighting Cotto around the time the Puerto Rican won his first major title (the WBO 140-pound belt) in 2004. However, Cotto was still a work in progress (in fact, he won the vacant title by beating a second-tier Brazilian prospect named Kelson Pinto).

So, Mayweather hasn’t avoided ALL of the dangerous standouts in the many division he’s occupied. There were times, particularly in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, when he was the one calling guys out (I recall that he challenged Cory Spinks after the St. Louis native defended his undisputed welterweight crown against Zab Judah  in Vegas). However, once HBO began to dole out healthy seven-figure paydays regardless of who he fought (beginning with the ridiculous $2.5 million he got to fight unworthy Henry Bruseles in early ’05), Mayweather was less inclined to seek out threats (even if he thought he could beat them).  

And after he beat De La Hoya in ’07, he was in the driver’s seat in terms of who he would fight.

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